Motorcycle helmets lower risk of spinal injury: Study

Here's Schubert's new helmet, the S2.

A study at the University of Wisconsin has shown motorcycle helmets seem to lower the risk of spinal injury, instead of increasing it.

As nonsensical as it sounds, one of the common anti-helmet arguments heard (particularly in the US) is that wearing a helmet can increase the danger of injuring your spinal cord.

However, a five-year study undertaken at the University of Wisconsin’s Level 1 trauma centre shows the opposite is true: you’re more likely to injure your spine if you aren’t wearing a helmet.

The research studied 1064 patients; 735 crashed with helmets, and 329 crashed without helmets. Medscape says the study showed riders without helmets had a 10.8 per cent higher chance of a cervical spine fracture when compared to riders who crashed while wearing helmets.

On average, riders who crashed without helmets also had more severe injuries, and spent more time in hospital. They were more likely to die from their injuries, and when discharged, were more likely to be sent to a care facility (instead of home) than a helmet-wearing rider.


  1. Just wondering if the researchers also noticed that helmet wearers tend to also wear other safety equipment such as jackets and vests with spine armour. People who chose not to wear helmets usually choose t-shirts, shorts, and flipflops as their preferred riding gear. Jus sayin….

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